Humanity at a crossroads as damage to planet poses growing risk to health UN environment agency warns

14 March 2019 15:40 International Desk

In a statement, UN Environment described the Global Environment Outlook, which was produced by 250 scientists and experts from more than 70 countries, as the most comprehensive and rigorous assessment completed by the United Nations in the last five years.

Unless environmental protections are drastically scaled up, the report says, there could be millions of premature deaths by the middle of this century, with pollutants in freshwater systems becoming a major cause of death by 2050.

In addition, more chemicals, known as endocrine disruptors, will have an adverse effect on male and female fertility, as well as the neurological development of children.

The UN Environment Assembly is the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment, where environmental ministers from around the world are meeting to tackle critical issues such as food waste, accelerating the spread of electric mobility, and the crisis of plastic pollution in the oceans.

“The science is clear. The health and prosperity of humanity are directly tied to the state of our environment,” said Joyce Msuya, Acting Executive Director of UNEP. “We are at a crossroads. Do we continue on our current path, which will lead to a bleak future for humankind, or pivot to sustainable development? That is the choice our political leaders must make, now.”

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